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It’s About The Aesthetic

, , , , , | Friendly | August 21, 2021

I’m out in the car park one day, admiring my neighbour’s car that is always gleamingly clean and runs perfectly. He is doing something to the engine, which is running. I shout so he can hear me.

Me: “How’s it going? Looks good!”

My neighbour continues peering closely at his car.

Neighbour: “I suppose so, but I’m not seeing very well these days.”

I’m just making conversation and having to shout again.

Me: “Engine runs very well!”

Neighbour: “Yes, it does, doesn’t it? I try very hard to keep it in good condition.”

Although the car is always in perfect condition, always very clean and runs well, it never leaves the car park. My neighbour is legally blind and so hard of hearing that he can’t get a driver’s licence. He can’t drive anyway.

Uh… Thanks For The Information?

, , , , , | Friendly | August 20, 2021

You meet some strange people when walking about. A stranger in the street asked me:

Stranger: “Do you know the time?”

Me: “No, sorry.”

They looked at their watch.

Stranger: “It’s just gone ten o’clock.”

It’s Not Easy Being Green

, , , , , | Friendly | August 7, 2021

I’m checking out the new green waste wheelie bins that were delivered to our complex last week when a neighbour comes up and joins me. I read a note stuck on the top of the wheelie-bin.

Me: “It says, ‘For green waste only,’ and there’s a list of what is not to be put into it.”

My neighbour chimes in brightly, going off on a tangent.

Neighbour: “I put my woven bags into the green waste bin to get rid of them when they are worn out.”

I proceed hesitantly, not sure what to say and not wishing to start an argument.

Me: “The bin is only intended for green waste.”

Neighbour: *Cheerfully* “Oh! That’s all right, then! I only put the green bags in the bin, not the other colours.”

When Store Policy Is Damaging To The Store

, , , , , , | Working | April 5, 2021

Our store is well-known for having very lenient return policies, and as a department manager, I am the only one who can authorise refunds and exchanges. We also voluntarily abide by a national code of conduct for supermarkets, which means that if an item scans at an incorrect price, it’s free. Given we are not a supermarket and have many items worth over $1,000, this is problematic.

I get paged to the homewares section and discover one of my associates distraught as a customer is tearing her a new one.

Customer: “Thank God, someone with authority! She just charged me $900 for a crystal glassware set, and as you can see here; it is worth $850! That means I get it for free!”

What the customer doesn’t know is that the $850 variant is slightly different. Our sales staff also earn 20% commission on sales of this item, so I understand why she would be upset. The anger in the customer’s voice indicates to me there has been an argument. 

Me: “Actually, you’re pointing to a slightly different version. The one you have purchased has a crystal serving tray, but this one—” *indicates towards the display* “—doesn’t. Hence the price difference.”

Customer: “You p***ks are all the same; you are just looking out for each other. See this?”

She points towards the trolley full of stock in our bags.

Customer: “I will return every single item here if you don’t give this to me for free.”

The customer hands me her receipt and there is nearly $5,000 worth of items there. I attempt to negotiate and haggle at this point, knowing that if I return $5,000 worth of items under “customer request,” I will be placed on performance review and potentially dismissed.

As I’m mulling it over, my associate begins to apologise profusely for the situation, to both me and the customer. My associate all but admits to putting the stock in the wrong place. We eventually settle on refunding the customer $300 and I write it off as “not as described.” 

I consider the matter dealt with, and I send the associate on her lunch break. About twenty minutes later, the customer appears again and finds me on the shop floor.

Customer: “Look, I feel really bad about the way in which I spoke to the lady earlier. I’ve been trying to find her to apologise; I know she didn’t really do anything wrong. Do you know where she is?”

Me: “Yep. She’s gone. I fired her. That kind of mistake is unacceptable here, and she has already left the building. Thank you for bringing the issue to my attention, because it was clear she was going to prevent us from offering the best customer experience here at [Department Store].”

The customer’s face drained of all colour and she left the store. I told the associate what I had said to the customer and she thought it was hilarious. I, however, resigned the next day and took a $15,000 per year pay-cut to a new role, as that experience showed me just how poorly this store thought of its staff.

Out Of Line, Out Of Credit  

, , , , , , , | Right | December 31, 2020

I work in an electronics store located right in the city centre, in the middle of the bus interchange, so we’re busy at the best of times.

This particular Christmas is not the best of times. The air-conditioning isn’t working properly, so it is hot. There is a sales promotion, but no store in this national chain gets enough stock, so there are a lot of disappointed (read: angry) customers, and it is busy.

There are only two registers, and both have queues all the way to the back of the store.

I’m doing my best to stop stock walking out the door, as well as helping customers.

Two older ladies near the back of the line stop me.

“Excuse me,” says one of the ladies. “We’ve only got these items; if we pay by credit card can we go to the front of the queue?”

Taken aback for a second, I put on my best retail smile and say, “I’m sorry, madam, as you can see we are very busy, with lots of customers, most of whom are using EFTPOS. We will do our best for you, but I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait.”

I walk off before I can tell her where I think her credit card is best inserted.